BC Insight - Nitrogen+Syngas, Sulphur, Fertilizer International
Login
BCInsight Ltd
China Works
Black Prince Road
London, SE1 7SJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 2567
Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 2577

Publication > Issue > Articles

A challenging opportunity

Summary

The time is right for ammonia and urea producers to exploit the opportunities offered by the melamine industry. Nitrogen & Methanol examines the latest developments at Eurotecnica Contractors and Engineers S.p.A., Italy, the company's involvement in South Korea, as well as the trends in the worldwide melamine market and what the future has to offer.

Abstract

Melamine is widely manufactured and marketed throughout the world. The total world market in 1994 totalled around 525,000 t/a and has been characterised by an average growth rate of 4.5% during the period 1980-1994.

Melamine demand is geographically concentrated in two major market areas. The first area in­cludes, Western Europe, Japan and USA. These regions accounted for a combined consumption share of around 68% of the global market in 1994, whilst also being the world’s major melamine producers.

The balance of world demand, about 167,000 tonnes in 1994, is consumed in a second area of the globe which includes all other countries, in particular, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, Thailand, South America and Eastern Europe. From an estimate of 1994 melamine consumption, the following main consumption zones have been identified in these regions (see Table 1).

Add to basket


The long and winding road

Summary

The 1990s have seen Mexico making strenuous efforts to reform its fertilizer and petrochemical industries, but the path has been an arduous one, and the process still has a long way to go. This article looks at two of the major bones of contention: the country's ammonia plants, and the future of the Mexican gas industry that supplies them.

Abstract

Mexico’s fertilizer industry is often said to have begun in the 1940s, with the production of ammonium sulphate from coke ovens in the north of the country. However, by 1965 total fertilizer production was less than one million tonnes per annum, and only 16% of crop- producing land was receiving fert­ilizer applications. The bulk of Mexico’s fertilizer industry grew up in the 1970s and 80s, with total production climbing to 5.8m t/a and fertilization rates to 65% by 1989. Much of this was achieved by concerted government action: the industry was fully nationalised in 1978 under the umbrella of Fertilizantes Mexi­canos SA (Ferti­mex), and prices to farmers re­ceived large government subsidies. The downside of this, as in other countries, was a large government bill, to the tune of an average 700 billion pesos by 1989.

As a result, that year saw the beginning of the restructuring of the Mexican fertilizer industry. Fertimex ceased to be responsible for all fertilizer distribution, supervising only bulk sales to wholesalers. Subsidies were gradually withdrawn, and most of the industry was privatised over the next few years, with Fertimex finally dissolved by 1993. Mexico now has a fully-functional private fertilizer industry, with a broad portfolio of products including ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulphate, urea, and UAN solutions, as well as various NPK fertilizers.

Add to basket


Steady as she goes

Summary

Nitric acid is one of the basic chemical building blocks of the nitrogenous fertilizer industry, used in ammonium nitrate and nitrogen solutions as well as various NPK compounds. However, the industry's output has remained relatively static for over 20 years, eclipsed by the phenomenal growth in use of urea in the developing world.

Abstract

Nitric acid is used mostly for the production of nitrogen-based fertilizers: around 80% of nitric acid is used in fert­ilizer production. The major product is ammonium nitrate (AN) and its various derivatives such as calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), UAN solutions (together with urea), ammonium sulphate nitrate, and magnesium ammonium nitrate. The other major use of nitric acid in the fertilizer sec­- tor is in various NPK compounds (although not mono- or di- ammonium phosphate).

Non-fertilizer uses are also dominated by ammonium nitrate, this time for explosives use, but also include various chemicals such as nitrobenzene, isocyanates, adi­pic acid, caprolactam, nitroparaffin, and potassium and sodium nitrates. Of these, the three key products are; adipic acid, a key intermediary in nylon production; toluene diisocyanate, used in the manufacture of polyurethane; and nitrobenzene, used in making aniline dyes.

Add to basket


Novel nitric acid technology

Summary

Nitrogen & Methanol looks at how industry has responded to the increasing environmental regulations governing the production of nitric acid and NOx emissions. Four technologies are studied, including the application of Selective Cataytic Reduction (SCR), electrodialysis, and new catalysts, as well as Sumitomo's novel nitric acid developments.

Abstract

Technical developments in the nitric acid industry are as rapid as they ever were. This is mainly attributable to the increasingly strict emission regulations being imposed with respect to nitrogen oxides. So what are the options for nitric acid producers and those operators in related industries? This feature looks at several new technological offer­- ings which aim to make your nitric acid facility cleaner and more efficient.

Add to basket


The GIAP concept

Summary

S.P. Sergeev of "Joint-Stock Company GIAP" takes a close look at the technology behind a new Russian ammonia production unit with a low energy consumption.

Abstract

Russia’s Joint-Stock Com­pany GIAP estimates that for ammonia producers to be competitive in the world market, with the current natural gas price, energy consumption of those plants needs to be close to 7 Gcal/t. The investments into the construction of such units shall not be more than those of previous generations.

The nitrogen industry in Russia is primarily based on ammonia units of the 1970s (typically 1360 t/d), in which ammonia is produced with an energy consumption of 9.2 to 10.2 Gcal/t. In Russia and the CIS, 44 units of this type have been constructed of which 42 are still in operation. GIAP has developed several modernised versions of these units, brief analyses of which indicate that even in the most favourable environments, a decrease in energy consumption would not exceed 10%.

These analyses highlight the urgency for Russia to develop an ammonia unit with a low energy consumption. Consequently, GIAP has developed new processes and equipment for processing primary fuels into process gas for the production of ammonia, methanol, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other products. The achievements of GIAP in the field of technology, equipment, and catalysts have created a scientific and technical basis for the development of such an ammonia unit.

Add to basket